A Cubs trade to land a more realistic slugger than Pete Alonso

Trading Pete Alonso feels unlikely. But the Chicago Cubs could add a more realistic veteran slugger to their lineup in the form of Miami Marlins first baseman Josh Bell.
Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers
Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

It was only a matter of time before Chicago Cubs rookie Michael Busch's historic hot streak at the plate snapped, and it finally did on Tuesday. While confidence in the talented young infielder remains high, the team could benefit from adding more juice to their everyday batting order amid a surprisingly impressive 11-7 start to the 2024 MLB campaign.

New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso has come up frequently in rumors as a potential candidate to be on the move ahead of the trade deadline because he is due a large chunk of change this offseason when his contract expires, whether it be them or another team that pays him.

However, Cubs fans are hopeful the team will pull off a blockbuster trade for Alonso based on recent buzz. But the likelihood of him getting dealt to Chicago (or anyone) feels like a pipe dream despite him being a coveted asset in the final year of his deal and notably unlikely to sign an extension because he is a client of baseball super agent Scott Boras. 

But there is a more realistic first baseman target likely to be available on the trade market that Chicago could target -- Josh Bell of the Miami Marlins.

Bleacher Report's Tim Kelly lists the Cubs as an ideal landing spot for Bell, who he ranks as one of the top nine trade targets ahead of the deadline on July 30.

The Marlins have gotten off to a disastrous 4-15 start to the season and appear to be ready to throw in the towel on the year in light of this, putting them in a position to be deadline sellers, as evidenced by ongoing rumors involving talented 26-year-old southpaw pitcher Jesus Luzardo. If they're considering parting ways with a valued player of that caliber firmly in his prime and under team control through 2026, dangling the 31-year-old Bell in trade talks should be a no-brainer, especially considering he is in the final year of his contract.

Here is what a potential trade package that sends Bell to the Cubs could look like:

A realisitc deal that sends Josh Bell to the Cubs

Potential Cubs-Josh Bell trade to bolster their lineup

Chicago would send outfielder Alexander Canario and right-handed pitcher Brandon Birdsell to Miami in exchange for Bell, with the former being the likeliest bargaining chip in trade talks. This offer is relatively tamed, especially considering the Cubs don't need the former All-Star.

Canario has spent much of the season with Chicago's triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs. He has been productive, hitting two home runs and seven RBIs with a .269/.377/.481 slash line across 61 plate appearances.

Birdsell has spent time in the AA with the Tennessee Smokies. He is 1-0 with a 6.75, 1.125 WHIP, and seven strikeouts through 5.1 innings pitched.

Despite establishing himself as a proven commodity in the majors throughout his career, Bell has changed teams frequently, albeit for reasons out of his control. He has played for middling, small-market franchises that have had to part ways with him as a form of salary dump. Nonetheless, he is a reliable veteran switch-hitting bat that a young, overachieving team like the Cubs could benefit from adding to their lineup.